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Rhode River Rendezvous, aka, The Cicada Cacophony Cruise

Rhode River Rendezvous, aka, The Cicada Cacophony Cruise

June 5 – 7, 2021

Cruise leaders: John and Pat Paris aboard Moon Song 2

Cruise participants: Al and Liz Sutherland aboard Outward; Erick and Maggie Chiang aboard au Lapin Agile II; Steve Lott and Cindy Ann Bowers by dinghy from Red Ranger; and Dave and Rachel Dawson aboard C&C Crusader

A late week decision by the Paris's to drop the hook in the Rhode River for the weekend of June 5th turned into a rousing gathering of WRSC cruisers. Some planned to spend one night; some two nights; some were a wonderful surprise visit; some could only stay a few hours; and some who said they couldn't make it changed their mind at the Friday night club dinner and said they'd come for happy hour, then with very little persuading after they arrived, changed their plans again and stayed rafted with the group Saturday night—proof cruisers are flexible and the best plans are those that can change.

Large portions of the area that encircles the main anchorage off of the Rhode are managed by the Smithsonian and include marshes, forested area, and research stations. The area's natural beauty, bird life, and pretty sunsets make this a popular anchorage for boaters.

The forecast for the weekend was sunny, and it promised to be a good one. The original plan, hahahaha, was for the Paris's to arrive around 1300 hours on Saturday and drop anchor somewhere beyond Big Island. The Sutherlands planned to arrive sometime around 1400 hours to raft up for the night with Moon Song. After circling for fifty minutes in cue for fuel and a pump out at Oak Grove Marina on the South River (not Oak Grove's fault), the Paris's called the Sutherlands to say they were going to be late getting to the anchorage.

Change of plan: Al suggested Outward become the anchor boat so they wouldn't have to motor about waiting for Moon Song 2 to arrive. Shortly after Outward set anchor, Moon Song arrived around 1400 hours and rafted up with them. Eric and Maggie Chiang had made prior plans to cruise to Granary Creek on the Wye River and visit Granary Creek for a visit to the Wye Plantation to do some hiking but made a last-minute decision to stop by for a short visit during happy hour before making the run to the Wye. They arrived on au Lapin Agile II at around 1500 hours and rafted up with Outward and Moon Song.

Change of Plan: Shortly after their arrival, and with very little cajoling from their fellow cruisers, the Chiangs decided they could take a hike some other weekend and opted to stay the night rafted up with Outward and Moon Song.

At 1630 hours everyone gathered together for cocktails and appetizers on Moon Song 2. We had an unexpected surprise when Steve Lott and Cindy Bowers hailed us from their dinghy, which they motored over on from Red Ranger. Unbeknownst to us, Steve and Cindy were anchored for the night a short distance away. They spotted Club Burgees flying from Moon Song 2, au Lapin Agile, and Outward, and headed over to say hello. We convinced them to join us for happy hour, so they tied up the dinghy and climbed aboard.

The group was impressed when, after red wine was spilled in the pilot house, Pat pulled out a bottle of Totally Awesome cleaner, sprayed it on the wine, and it came up spotless. She proceeded to tell everyone that it had been recommended to her and John by another boater who recommended it for cleaning almost anything, including the boat's bilge.

Not long afterward, Dave and Rachel Dawson arrived to raft up with the group. Dave and Rachel joined us on Moon Song 2, bringing more goodies to add to the delectable selection. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening, despite the constant cacophony of the cicadas, many of which landed in our boats, on us, or that we observed doing the wing-stroke in the water. According to Eric and Maggie, if you want to be able to tell them apart the ones with the pointy abdomens are the females. So, it wasn't all fun and frivolity, we got some education, too.

As the evening wound down, we said fond goodbyes to Steve and Cindy who returned to Red Ranger, and to Dave and Rachel who had to return to their dock. Those who remained returned to their respective boats to have dinner. Afterward, we all sat outside, sharing stories across boats, and enjoying what remained of a peaceful evening.

Sunday morning promised another sunny and hot day. Everyone had an early breakfast on their individual boats. The water was full of cicadas, but Al went in for a quick, refreshing dip despite their abundance. The Sutherlands needed to leave early, so they pulled anchor around 900 hours to head back to their slip.

Change of Plan: The Chiangs decided to put down their anchor and stick around the anchorage for a few more hours, so Moon Song 2 rafted up with au Lapin Agile and we all relaxed on our boats, reading, chatting, and enjoying the view. We got into another discussion about Totally Awesome cleaner and Maggie said she wanted to get some. Pat had two bottles on board and gave one to Maggie. Maggie proceeded to clean old stains from au Lapin Agile that she said she hadn't been able to get up with anything else. Finding the stuff totally awesome, we didn't see much more of Maggie as she searched for things to clean. (For anyone who's interested, the same size bottle of Totally Awesome concentrate sells on amazon for $5.99, and at the Dollar Store for $1.00 a bottle.)

After a pleasant morning, the Chiangs pulled anchor and headed back to their slip and to enjoy a lunch at Pirates Cove before making the drive home.

The Paris's dropped their anchor as they planned to stay another night and spend some time kayaking around the anchorage and over to the marshes the following morning. They spent most of the day reading and relaxing and enjoyed a simple meal of hamburgers and grilled potatoes with rosemary and olive oil. It was an early night to bed, with plans to get up early before it got too hot and go out in the kayaks.

Change of plan: Monday was another sunny day with temps already soaring by the time breakfast was had. The plan to kayak was abandoned due to the heat, and after a lazy morning, Moon Song 2 pulled anchor and headed for home port around 1100 hours.

It was great to be out on the water cruising with friends and to be able to gather together again as restrictions ease, to share stories and make new memories. Happy Cruising!


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